The asparagus plant must be harvested seven days a week to produce a very perishable crop for the fresh and frozen markets, plus some for pickling. There is a competition among growers for good cutters who can make good money at the back-breaking task of cutting the stalks at the right size, cut with care to protect the younger stalks and with delicate handling to protect the final product.
Washington state asparagus production by the numbers.
Trade deals just about spoiled Washington’s asparagus industry. Farmers quit the crop. Canneries closed. And then, slowly, farmers leveraged technology, grit and food trends to build a second chance.
You might have to strain a bit, maybe stand on the back of a flatbed truck to see them, but from the Wal-Mart parking lot, you can see some of the country’s best asparagus fields.